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Niagara Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Members of the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing achieved top honors for the fourth straight year in the New York National Guard’s Adjutant General’s Marksmanship Competition held earlier this month at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill.

The team won first place in the Gen. George Patton Pistol Match and the National Guard Infantry Team Rifle Match. The team included: 1st Sgt. Randal Schenefiel, Technical Sgt. Christopher Doherty, Technical Sgt. Ryan Mang and Master Sgt. Edward Stefik.

Stefik said: “It was an honor to be the team captain for the 107th. I find it very humbling every time I compete to be in the presence of such professional soldiers and airmen. These folks display some of the best marksmanship skills in the state.”

The 107th marksmanship team won individual awards as well.

Stefik was the individual champion for the combined arms match involving combat pistol and rifle. He also took first place in both the Excellence in Pistol and Combat Pistol competitions.

Schenefiel was high scorer in the novice rank, earning the New York State Master Sgt. Joseph A. Longobardo Trophy, while Mang took third place in the Exercise in Competition, and Doherty placed third in the individual rifle match.

Organized marksmanship competition has been a part of the New York National Guard’s training program since the 1800s.


The Shawnee Sno-Chiefs Snowmobile Club in Niagara County was honored by the American Council of Snowmobile Associations as the Snowmobile Club of the Year at the 2013 International Snowmobile Congress held this month in Green Bay, Wis.

The award for the club and its 818-member families follows a similar recognition by the New York State Snowmobile Association as the Club of the Year at the Educational Forum and annual meeting held in April in Lake Placid.

In addition, club president Brent Walck was honored with the state association’s John Albert/Ed Dutcher Most Valuable Snowmobiler of the Year award in Lake Placid.

The Shawnee Sno-Chiefs offer safety training classes, and in the past season educated 45 students about safe snowmobiling. The club also is involved in fundraising and trail maintenance, spending more than 300 hours in grooming for the 2012-2013 season.


The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University held a volunteer awards luncheon earlier this month at the Como Restaurant.

The awards are given in memory of the museum’s longtime volunteer coordinator and museum shop manager, Anne LaBarbera.

Honorees were: Pat Pino, docent of the year; Marian Grandfield, curator of education; Friedl Fuerst, volunteer of the year; and Susan Clements, coordinator of community relations.


Dr. Donna Azam Feldman has become the first surgeon to complete 100 robotic-assisted surgical procedures at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The milestone procedure was performed recently using Memorial’s da Vinci Si Surgical System.

“I’m as excited about robotic-assisted surgery now as I was when I did my first procedure here,” said Feldman, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Women’s Medicine of Niagara and the head of Memorial’s Division of Robotic Surgery.

“Our patients continue to benefit from smaller incisions, minimal scarring, reduced pain and then quicker post-operative recoveries.”

In service at Memorial since March 2012, the da Vinci system was dubbed “SAL,” which stands for Save A Life, following a naming contest that attracted entries from hundreds of area schoolchildren.

SAL is used by more than a dozen gynecologists, gynecological oncologists, urologists, bariatric surgeons, colorectal surgeons and general surgeons to perform minimally invasive robotic surgery at Memorial.


Patrick J. King has enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, according to Staff Sgt. Orion LaMontagne from the Tonawanda recruiting office. Upon successfully completing the Air Force’s eight-week basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, King is scheduled to receive technical training in the Air Transportation Apprentice area.

King, the son of James E. and Jayne King of North Tonawanda, is a 2009 graduate of North Tonawanda Senior High School and will be earning credits toward an associate degree in applied sciences through the Community College of the Air Force while attending basic and technical training schools.


Western New York Section VI Athletics has recently nominated the senior scholar athletes for spring from Niagara Catholic Junior/Senior High School.

Nominees are: DeAnna Kajfasz and Madeline Sweeney (girls tennis), William Whisker (boys tennis) and Francesca Costanzo (softball).

Kajfasz has been selected as a scholar athlete. Sweeney, Whisker and Costanzo were named honorable mentions.


One hundred sixty-five golfers took to the links earlier this month at Niagara Falls Country Club for the 22nd annual Niagara Cup Classic golf tournament.

The tournament raised $40,000, which will go to support health care programming at the hospital, particularly cardiac and stroke services.

The Niagara Cup, with a best two balls net team score of 124, went to Ron Forster, Dennis Hooper, Kevin Scott and Jim Ciancio.

Women’s all-star champions were Brandi Goliminski, Alanna Wustrack, Annette Pecenco and Bev Taibi.

Jamie Miller carded a 65 to capture first-place honors for gross score.

This year’s Niagara Cup Classic was headed by Dr. Alan Meholick, an invasive and clinical cardiologist with Buffalo Heart Group, and Douglas Mooradian, director of marketing and public relations for Health Systems Services.